CBL Tight-lipped On 40M Consolidated Account By: Yassah J Wright

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Liberia’s Central Bank Governor and his deputies appeared before the  House of Representatives and the Senate Committees yesterday to clarify on the ongoing 40m United States Dollars government’s consolidated account saga, but  they did not state the real amount in  said account. The Plenary of the House of Representatives has mandated the Committee on Banking to investigate facts concerning balances in consolidated account of the Central Bank of Liberia.
Plenary’s decision is predicated upon the appearance of the Central Bank Governor and deputies who did not state clearly how much is  the consolidated account of the Central Bank of Liberia. Governor Aloysius Tarlue appearing before the Plenary of the House of Representatives Thursday, stated that the CBL didn’t give any figure to both former President Weah and President Joseph Boakia as being speculated.
Governor Tarlue who refused to convert the Liberian Dollars component to be added to the USD; said it is unethical to do so as requested for by the Lawmakers.
Meanwhile, the Committee on Banking headed by Representative Dorwan Glekia will investigate the Transitional Team of President Boakia and the Central Bank of Liberia to establish the actual facts. Representative Glekia and  his team members through a motion from Representative Dixon Seboe have meanwhile been mandated to report their findings to Plenary next Tuesday. The President’s stern correction was triggered owing to former President Weah’s farewell speech, two weeks ago, that he was leaving the presidency with US$40 million in the government’s consolidated account. Former President Weah said: “…I inherited about US$94,999,000 in net international reserves, and I am handing over to the next administration a net international reserve position of US$222, 700,000.00. This is a 136 percent increase in net international reserve position. The total cash balance in the Government’s consolidated accounts is US$40,044,365. In 2018, my government inherited a consolidated cash position of about US$7,000,000.00.” These inconsistent figures from former President Weah and the current President have been regarded as a “bad image” for the country and, if clarity isn’t sought, the rigmarole has the propensity to drive investors and have national security implications. It is against this backdrop that the House of Representatives decided to intervene,” a lawmaker said after a session on Tuesday. The decision of the House of Representatives came after separate communications from Montserrado County District #16 Representative, Dixon W.Seboe and Margibi County District #2 Representative, Ivar Jones calling for an inquiry into the controversy. “During the State of the Nation Address delivered by His Excellence, yesterday (Monday) January 29, 2024, President Boakia mentioned that the total amount in the consolidated account as at the time of the transition was 20.5 Million United States Dollars, which is a sharp contrast to what was reported by former President Weah,” Rep. Seboe wrote. “Mr. Speaker, Deputy Speaker, colleagues, noting that this can be easily validated; I write that we invite the Central Bank of Liberia, which houses the consolidated account, to ascertain the facts surrounding the circumstances.” Another lawmaker, Ivar K. Jones of Margibi County District #2 Representative also wrote, craving the indulgence of the House of Representatives to invite the Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia to address the actual status of the Government of Liberia International Reserves and Government of Liberia Consolidated Account balances as of December 31, 2023, January 19, 2024, and January 22, 2024, respectively. “Honorable Speaker, the net international reserves position reported at the end of December 2023 was USS220 million. The report of US $40million as the GoL’s consolidated account balance as of January 19, 2024, is not supported by the fact. The balance reported by the CBL as of the same date was US$20.5 million, highly encumbered, NOT US$40million.” “It is the Fundamental Right of the Public to be informed about the Government and its functionaries as enshrined in Article 15c of the 1986 Constitution of the Republic of Liberia,” Jones stated. He noted that pursuant to the right of Liberians, there shall be no limitation on the public right to be informed and, as the information should be accurate and consistent. In the above-mentioned case, there is inaccuracy and inconsistency.

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